Tributes to Suffolk pioneer
A PIONEERING businesswoman who was a central figure at a famous Suffolk cider-making company has died at the age of 101.Perronelle Guild (nee Chevallier), of Debenham-based Aspall Cyder, was one of eight generations of the same family to have been involved in the business, established in 1728.
A PIONEERING businesswoman who was a central figure at a famous Suffolk cider-making company has died at the age of 101.
Perronelle Guild (nee Chevallier), of Debenham-based Aspall Cyder, was one of eight generations of the same family to have been involved in the business, established in 1728.
She was a founder member of the Soil Association who converted the business into organic production in the 1940s, making Aspall one of the oldest organic companies in Britain.
She was born at Aspall Hall, in Debenham, where the company is still based, at a time when there was no heating, electricity, bathrooms or running water.
Her family will remember her as a resourceful and capable countrywoman, who was motivated by a fierce love of the east Suffolk area, where she was born and lived for all of her life.
Grandson Henry Chevallier-Guild, who now runs the company in partnership with brother Barry, said: "I've never come across anyone with quite the fighting spirit that she had.
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"She never gave up and we've got her to thank for keeping the business and the house in the family and for keeping the cider-making going.
"She was quite a businesswoman and a pioneer for organic food. She was an amazing lady."
Mrs Guild was also one of the first woman to attend Reading University and was later known for her sense of adventure.
On the death of her husband in 1978, and at the age of 76, she developed a wandering spirit that took her to Kathmandu, Russia, Egypt, France on painting holidays, Turkey and China.
She died from old age on February 15 at a nursing home in Saxtead. She leaves two children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
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